Milestones Walking: The essential Guide to Your Baby’s 1st Steps and Other Exciting Milestones

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Milestones Walking: The essential Guide to Your Baby's 1st Steps

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Walking is a significant milestone in a baby’s development. It is an exciting time for parents to witness their little one take their first steps and explore the world around them, though milestones walking, crawling or talking are often a source of anxiety too. At what stage has your baby missed a milestone?

While the age at which babies start walking can vary, most babies walk on their own sometime between about 12 months and 17 months.

However, it is essential to note that every child is unique, and some may start walking independently earlier or later than others.

Before babies can walk independently, they go through a series of developmental stages that involve building strength, coordination, and balance. These stages include rolling over, crawling, pulling up to stand, and cruising along furniture.

Once babies gain enough confidence body weight and strength, they take their first steps and gradually improve their walking skills.

Parents play a crucial role in supporting their child’s walking development. Providing a safe and supportive environment, encouraging physical activity, and praising their efforts can help babies gain the confidence and skills they need to walk independently.

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Developmental Milestones Walking, Crawling and Standing

What are developmental milestones?

Developmental milestones are a set of skills or abilities that most children can do by a certain age. These milestones are usually grouped into categories such as physical, cognitive, and social-emotional. For an infant development for example, walking is a physical milestone, while saying their first words is a cognitive milestone.

Why are developmental milestones important?

Developmental milestones are important because they can help parents and healthcare providers track a child’s development and ensure that they are meeting age-appropriate milestones. If a child is not meeting milestones, it may be a sign of a developmental delay or other health issue. Early intervention can be critical to improving outcomes for children with developmental delays.

It’s important to note that while developmental milestones provide a general guideline for what most children can do at a certain age, every child develops at their own pace. Some children may reach milestones earlier or later than others, and that is completely normal.

In terms of when baby start walking, most babies begin to walk on their own sometime between about 12 and 17 months of age, with the average being around 13 months. However, it’s important to remember that this is just a general guideline, and some babies may begin walking earlier or later than this. It’s also common for babies to take a few wobbly steps and then go back to crawling for a while before they fully transition to walking.

Walking Milestones

When do babies start walking?

Babies usually start walking sometime between about 10 and 18 months old. According to BabyCenter, most babies take their first steps sometime between 9 and 15 months and are walking well by the time they’re 15 to 18 months old. However, the range can be anywhere from 8 to 17 months, with the average age being around 13 months.

It’s important to remember that every baby is different and will develop at their own pace. Try not to worry if your baby takes a little longer than others to start walking.

What are the different stages of walking milestones?

There are several different stages of infant walking milestones that babies go through:

  • Pulling up: Between 9 and 12 months, babies will start to pull themselves up using furniture or other objects such as baby walkers

  • Cruising: Between 8 and 18 months, babies will start to “cruise” along furniture, taking steps while holding on for support.

  • First steps: Usually between 9 and 15 months, babies will take their first independent steps.

  • Steady walking: By around 15 to 18 months, babies will be walking well and able to navigate obstacles and uneven surfaces.

What are some common concerns about walking milestones?

It’s common for parents to have concerns about their baby’s walking milestones. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Delayed walking: If your baby hasn’t started walking by 18 months, it’s a good idea to talk to your pediatrician. However, it’s important to remember that every baby develops at their own pace and some babies may take longer to start walking.

  • Toe walking: Some babies may walk on their toes instead of their whole foot. This is usually not a cause for concern and will typically resolve on its own. However, if your baby continues to walk on their toes after 2 years of age, it’s a good idea to talk to your pediatrician.

  • Flat feet: It’s common for babies to have flat feet until around age 6, when their arches start to develop. Flat feet are usually not a cause for concern and don’t require treatment.

Supporting Your Baby’s Walking Development

How can you encourage your baby to walk?

Encouraging your baby to walk is an important part of their development. Here are some ways you can help:

What are some helpful tools and toys? Do baby walkers help?

There are many tools and toys that can help support your baby’s walking development and overall child development. Here are a few examples:

Push Baby Walkers: These toys help your baby practice walking by providing support and stability, note the difference between a baby walker and a push walker.

Baby carriers: Wearing your baby in a carrier can help them practice balance and coordination.

Activity tables: These tables provide interactive play and can help your baby practice standing independent walking and reaching.

When should you seek professional support?

While every baby develops at their own pace, there are some signs that may indicate a need for professional support. These include:

  • Your baby is not crawling or standing with support by 12 months.

  • Your baby consistently favors one side of their body.

  • Your baby’s legs appear stiff or floppy.

  • Your baby’s walking pattern is abnormal or they appear to be in pain.

If you have any concerns about your baby’s walking development, it’s important to talk to your pediatrician or a pediatric physical therapist. They can help determine if there are any underlying issues and provide support and guidance for your baby’s development.

FAQS on Walking Milestones

What is a normal age when babies walk?

The normal age for healthy children to start walking is between 9 and 18 months. Most babies take their first steps around their first birthday. However, every child develops at their own pace, and some may do early walking or later than this age range.

What are the 12-month child development milestones for walking?

At 12 months, many babies are able to pull themselves up to a standing position using furniture, take a few steps while holding onto objects, and possibly take a few independent steps. However, it’s essential to remember that each child develops at their own pace, and some babies may reach these milestones slightly earlier or later.

When should I worry about my baby not walking?

If your baby is not walking by 18 months or shows no interest in standing or moving around, it’s a good idea to consult your pediatrician. They can evaluate your child’s development and determine if there are any underlying issues that may require further intervention.

What are the stages of learning to walk?

The stages of learning to walk typically include:

  1. Rolling over (around 3-6 months)

  2. Sitting up independently (around 6-9 months)

  3. Crawling (around 7-10 months)

  4. Pulling up to stand (around 9-12 months)

  5. Cruising or walking while holding onto furniture (around 9-12 months)

  6. Taking first independent steps (around 9-18 months)

  7. Walking unassisted (around 12-18 months)

Please note that these age ranges are approximate, and individual children may progress through these stages at different rates.

How can I help my baby learn to walk?

You can help your baby learn to walk by providing plenty of opportunities for movement and exploration, encouraging them to pull up to a standing position using furniture, and offering support while they practice taking steps.

You can also use a wooden walker, push toys or walking aids designed for babies to help them develop balance muscle strength and coordination, but don’t use infant walkers (just look at the number of infant walker related injuries to start with!)

How long does it take to learn to walk?

The time it takes for a baby to learn to walk varies greatly from child to child. Some babies may take only a few weeks from their first steps to confidently walking, while others may take several months. It’s essential to be patient and support your child’s development at their own pace.

Remember a late walker doesn’t mean that anything is wrong- how long it takes to learn to walk has poor predictive value when it comes to other infant motor milestones.


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